Auto World Museum will spark your curiosity. We hope that you will find that our collection of vintage and modern automobiles fascinates you the way that it did Bill Backer. We hope you will continue the journey with us as we add to the collection over time. We would like to thank William Harrison for his dedication to the research on the autos in the museum.
The presentation of cars and staging of the museum is the vision of Tom K. Jones, Artistic Director of TKJ Designs in Fulton, Missouri. His concept for the museum was a movement through time and a portrayal of the history of Callaway County, Missouri. Auto World Museum is a stage—a movement through history. Its deep black curtains, scenes from back when, panels of advertising and memorabilia will take you through a history of motion in time. At first, you will visit a period not that long ago, although some say 100 years is a long time. As you move in a clockwise direction through the museum, you will find enticing displays. The simplicity of family drives in the convertible. The decadence of Hollywood and its fancy cars. The sights and sounds of the drive-in as you watched from the comfort of your Studebaker or Corvair. You will ponder when gas prices were really, really low. Finally, you will find yourself nearing the future, with displays of alternative fuel vehicles.
After his passing in 2008, his daughter, Vicki McDaniel, assumed leadership of the museum and the collection of cars. Since then, the collection of vintage autos has changed a little. However, her primary passion is for the presentation of antique cars and modern ones in a place that everyone can visit.
Not long after he collected the Dodge, Bill had a 1909 Ford Model T. Soon after that, a 1930 Model A. Then a 1929 Cord, a 1931 Rolls Royce Phantom II, a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, and so on. By the mid 1990’s, the number of classic autos in the collection neared 100. Bill found a home for many of his classic cars in an old retail building in Fulton. The Auto World Museum Foundation was formed and a classic car museum was opened to the public. Ten years later, in 2006, the automobile museum was moved to its current home at 200 Peacock Drive in Fulton. It is a building dedicated to the history of vintage and modern automobiles as well as the history of Callaway County and Fulton, Missouri.
William E. Backer, former owner of Backer Potato Chip Company in Fulton, Missouri, looked back in time and found that a vintage automobile was a thing of fascination. His memories were of old country roads and two lane highways. Bill Backer was an engineer and a builder who loved to tinker. Having built a successful potato chip company, he looked back at the cars that were part of his childhood. Shortly after, he owned a Canadian 1924 Dodge Touring. Dark blue with black fenders and a cloth top. Bill drove his family around the back country roads of Callaway County, Missouri and felt himself touching fading memories. (Please continue at top right.)
Why build an automotive museum? Because one way or another, our lives are touched by the automobile. We remember our parents’ cars, the ones we traveled in with family, the ones we borrowed for our first car date, the first ones we bought. The fast cars, the junkers, the modified ones and the ones we rebuilt—all of them are tied to us in memory. We even dream of cars.